Len Joy had an idyllic childhood, growing up in the gem of the Finger Lakes, Canandaigua, New York. As a typical small-town boy, he had a wide range of interests, most involving sports. He lettered in four sports in high school and went off to the University of Rochester with dreams of becoming a football hero and world-famous novelist.
When he awoke from those dreams, he switched his major from English to Finance and quit the football team, but started dating one of the cheerleaders – Suzanne Sawada. Three years later they were married, and four decades later, they still are.
They moved to Chicago where Suzanne became a corporate lawyer and Len, with his MBA and CPA, became the auditing manager for U. S. Gypsum. Despite the thrill of auditing gypsum plants, Len found himself wanting a different challenge.
He bought an engine remanufacturing company in Arizona and for fifteen years commuted to
Phoenix. Despite the travel, he managed to stay married and have three kids. While flying, he read hundreds of novels, which renewed his dream of becoming a world-famous author.
In 2004 he wound down his engine business and started taking writing courses and participating in triathlons.
While world fame remains elusive, Len has made advances in his writing career.
His third novel, EVERYONE DIES FAMOUS, was published by BQB Publishing in August 2020.
KIRKUS described it as a “…a striking depiction of small-town America at the dawn of the
21st century.” It won 1st Prize in the 2020 Top Shelf Book Awards for Southern Fiction and was also a Book Excellence Award winner in the category of Aging.
Kevin Wilson, NY Times bestselling author of Nothing to See Here and The Family Fang had this to say: “Len Joy's Everyone Dies Famous is a clear-eyed examination of how we live in an uncertain world. By creating imminently understandable characters and skillfully linking them to a specific landscape, one that is so evocatively described, he shows us all the ways in which we're connected, how fragile those threads are. In clear prose, Joy does real work here. I'm grateful for it.”
Joy’s first novel, AMERICAN PAST TIME, was published in 2014. KIRKUS praised it as a “darkly
nostalgic study of an American family through good times and bad, engagingly set against major events from the ‘50s to the ‘70s as issues of race simmer in the background…expertly written and well-crafted.” It was the 2019 Readers’ Favorite gold medal award winner for Fiction – Sports and took 1st Prize in the Top Shelf Book Awards contest for Fiction – General.
His second novel, BETTER DAYS (2018), was described by FOREWORD Reviews as “a bighearted, wry, and tender novel that focuses on love and loyalty.”
KIRKUS called it “a character-rich skillfully plotted Midwestern drama.” It was the 2019 Readers’ Favorite silver medal award winner for Fiction – Sports and was a finalist in the Indie Excellence Book Awards in the category of Fiction: Midwest.
Today, Len is a nationally ranked triathlete and competes internationally representing the United States as part of TEAM USA. His three kids (a son and two daughters) have grown up and moved away, although the daughters return frequently to Evanston to do their laundry and get legal advice from their mother.